University kicks off United Way campaign

Jennie Loucks

Give. Advocate. Volunteer. Live United. This is not a theme; it is a way a living. Throughout the U.S., the United Way is spreading this message.

On Monday, April 6, the United Way campaign at Washburn kicked off. Ten United Way agencies were in attendance, which shared how their donations have had an impact on the community, as well as Miriam Krehbiel, president of United Way, and Jerry Farley, president of Washburn.

Krehbiel and Farley discussed what the idea of Live United encompasses. The event’s theme was “see your co-workers in a whole new light.”

“[Washburn has] been participating with this campaign on campus since 2003,” said Amanda Hughes, assistant director of university relations. “This year, we are really focusing on awareness and participation.”

In the 2009 campaign, Washburn will be the first contributing organization in Topeka. Last year, the university raised $36,447 and had 22 percent of the campus’ participation. The goals for this year are to raise $36,500 and to increase campus parcicipation to 25 percent.

As always, there will be numerous opportunities for students, staff and faculty to get involved in the campaign. Students will again be able to make online donations by logging into the United Way section of the Washburn Web site. Starting last Friday, April 10, T-shirts sporting the Live United logo have been sold in the Washburn Bookstore, located in the lower level of the Memorial Union, for $10 each, with the proceeds going toward the United Way of Greater Topeka.

“We are really looking to talk to students, faculty, and staff about how they Live United,” said Hughes. “We want people to see that others aren’t just the faces you see every day at lunch or in class, they do other things too.”

Numerous events will be held on campus between April 6 and May 5.

On Tuesday, April 14, there will be a Live United Scorch on the Porch, on the Memorial Union lawn from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A Live United T-shirt will get $1 taken off of the $5 meal.

At 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, a luncheon will take place called “The Craze Sweeping Our Nation, Volunteering,” in the Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center. The guest speaker will be Barbara Lundquist, director of the volunteer center with United Way. Tickets for this event will be on sale through Monday, April 13.

To reserve, call the Topeka Chamber at (785) 234-2644. Tickets will run $12 for WU students and $15 for faculty and staff. By wearing the Live United T-shirt to this event, students, faculty and staff will be entered in a drawing to win a free gift bag.

At 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 22 on the Memorial Union lawn, there will be a root beer float sale to celebrate “National Volunteer Week.” Root beer floats will be $1 each. On Thursday, April 23, there will be a Live United display for the Day of Transformation.

To wrap up the campaign, on Tuesday, May 5, there will be a second Live United Scorch on the Porch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Memorial Union lawn. The same offer for $1 dollar off a meal applies for this event with a Live United T-shirt.

Other events include first aid and CPR classes (those dates have yet to be announced), as well as a Live United Washburn group photo, which will be taken on Thursday, April 30. The time for this picture has yet to be determined.